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Hawkeye women can play defense, too

[ 0 ] January 30, 2014 |

The Iowa women’s basketball team has showed time and time again this season it can score.

In their most recent Big Ten conference win, the Hawkeyes showed they can play a little defense as well.

Iowa limited Minnesota to 34 percent shooting Wednesday as Iowa ran its Big Ten winning streak to three games with a 64-56 win over the Gophers.

The 56 points by Minnesota was the lowest total for an Iowa opponent in Big Ten play as the Hawkeyes moved to 5-3 in Big Ten games with their fourth win in their last five games.

Iowa limited the Big Ten’s leading scorer, Rachel Banham, to nine points on 3-of-12 shooting Wednesday after the junior guard scored 32 in the first meeting between the teams Jan. 8.

“I felt very good about our defense,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “Not only holding Rachel Banham to nine points but even on the rebounding side of things. We were down 10 rebounding and then we held them to only two offensive rebounds the second half.”

With its win Wednesday, Iowa surged into a tie for third place in the Big Ten standings, joining Purdue and Michigan at 5-3.

Penn State sits atop the standings at 6-1 followed by Michigan State at 5-2.

Wednesday’s win was the third straight road win in Big Ten play.

“We are 3-1 on the road right now in the Big Ten and that is hard to do,” Bluder said. “I think that we are feeling pretty good about ourselves right now, we have some good momentum.”

STATUS QUO: Sam Logic came within two rebounds of her second triple-double of the season Wednesday, finishing with 12 points and 10 assists to go with her eight rebounds.

The junior point guard has four double-doubles in Iowa’s eight conference games this season and 19in her career.

“We are kind of now getting to expect it. ‘Oh, Sam had another double-double,’” Bluder said. “That is a special accomplishment, and now it’s kind of become status quo for her.”

NEW CHALLENGE: Iowa has gotten a good look at the top scorers in the Big Ten in the past month.

The Hawkeyes already have faced the league’s top scorer, Banham (22.1 ppg), twice this season and the second leading scorer, Maggie Lucas (20.9), once.

Iowa has also seen the Big Ten’s fourth leading scorer, Indiana freshman Larryn Brooks (17.4), twice this season.

Saturday, the Hawkeyes will take a crack at Nebraska’s Jordan Hooper, who ranks third in the league in scoring at 19.4 points per game.

The 6-foot-2 Hooper had 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, in Nebraska’s 84-51 win over Michigan on Wednesday.

“It’s something we’ve seen with Maggie Lucas and Rachel Banham, and that is the kind of player that Hooper is,” Logic said. “She is just one that you have to limit. You have to limit touches, limit open shots because she is just going to knock some down.”

INSTANT SPARK: Iowa’s win Wednesday moved the Hawkeyes to 3-0 with freshman Ally Disterhoft in the starting lineup.

The West High graduate scored a team-high 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds in her third career start and has reached double figures in each of her three starts.

Disterhoft is averaging 17.3 since being inserted in the starting lineup at Ohio State and averages 12.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per game on the year.

“I think Ally being in the starting lineup has been a good thing for us,” Bluder said. “I think it starts us with another offensive weapon out there that they have to worry about.”

MOVING UP: Bluder needs two wins to surpass hall of famer C. Vivian Stringer as Iowa’s all-time winningest coach.

Bluder is 268-162 in her 14 seasons at Iowa and is one of 13 active Division I coaches with 600 or more victories.

“It means I’ve been around for a while,” Bluder said of approaching Stringer’s mark. “If you get to stay at a school long enough, you are going to get opportunities like that.”

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball

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